Per analytics and advisory firm Gallup, millennials and generation z together now make up nearly half of the U.S’s full-time workforce. When asked in 2018 what they expect of their employer, one thread emerged more frequently than any other. More than anything else, both generations demand an employer who cares about their wellbeing — an employer who treats them as people rather than resources. Let’s see why creating a family atmosphere at work is important.
Cultivating a family atmosphere is a crucial step in achieving this. By building your workplace on a foundation of mutual respect, communication, and compassion, you create an environment where everyone feels valued, autonomous, and accountable. In addition to making yourself more appealing as an employer, this is beneficial for several reasons.
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Improved Productivity and Performance
Picture two employees working in very different businesses. The first feels valued and personally wants their employer to succeed. The second is just there for a paycheck and dreads going to work each day.
Which of them do you suppose will put in more effort? Which of them do you expect will be more productive?
In addition to improving overall performance, an atmosphere of friendly collaboration also cuts down on toxic behaviors like gossip. Employees who respect their colleagues and feel respected are likely to look for a constructive means of solving problems in the workplace. And that, in turn, means less time wasted on petty squabbles.
Better Retention, Easier Recruitment
Let’s say you work for an employer you absolutely love. Your co-workers feel like close friends, and leadership always ensures you feel heard when you have an issue. Now imagine someone from a larger organization has headhunted you.
The pay is well above your current position, but there’s a catch. Rather than a friendly, family atmosphere like your current employer, your prospective employer emphasizes intraorganizational competition. Management, meanwhile, tends to be disconnected from their employees.
Would you accept that position?
Many people wouldn’t. While sure, it’s essential to make a living, people also want to feel respected and fulfilled at work. If your workplace provides that, you’ll likely see a significant reduction in turnover and find recruitment and onboarding much smoother.
Better Workplace Relationships
Who are you likelier to accept constructive criticism from?
- A family member.
- A close friend.
- A relative stranger.
Critical statements from management or colleagues can often feel like a personal attack, especially if your workplace promotes toxic behaviors. In a family environment, that’s no longer an issue. That means people are likelier to listen to criticism since they know it comes from a good place — that the person giving it wants them to succeed.
These days, trust is in short supply. Creating a workplace culture where everyone looks out for each other can bring just a bit more of it back into the workplace. And that, in turn, will help you stand out not just as an employer but as a brand.
About the Author: Brad Wayland is the Chief Strategy Officer at BlueCotton, a site with high-quality, easy-to-design custom t-shirts.